Marlins third baseman Martin Prado has suffered a setback in his recovery from right knee surgery and will open the 2018 season on the disabled list, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. In his place, the Marlins will turn to one of their top organizational prospects, Brian Anderson, to man the hot corner early in the year.
Manager Don Mattingly tells Frisaro that while Prado was already borderline for Opening Day, the team had initially hoped he could join them by an April 9 home series against the Mets. The latest news on his knee, however, will push Prado’s return date further back. While there’s not yet a set timetable on his availability, it seems likely that Prado, who = hasn’t played in a spring game yet, will be out until at least mid-April.
Prado is still owed a total of $28.5MM over the next two seasons, and while the rebuilding Marlins would undoubtedly love to shed that contract — or at least a notable portion of it — the ongoing knee troubles all but entirely remove that possibility at present.
As for the 24-year-old Anderson, he’s fresh off an impressive .275/.361/.492 slash with 22 homers, 21 doubles and three triples through 498 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017. Anderson struck out at a 19.7 percent clip in that time against a solid 9.6 percent walk rate as he rose through the minors, and he also held his own (.265/.337/.369) in a brief 95-PA sample with the big league club. MLB.com ranks him ninth among Miami farmhands, noting that his hands, range and plus arm make him a fit at third base.